July is National Pet Hydration Month and we all know the importance of staying hydrated in warmer temperatures. In our last blog post, we focused on keeping your pets cool and safe to avoid heat stroke, including keeping plenty of fresh water around – but how do your pets tell you they are thirsty? Dogs have dehydration warning signs such as excessive panting, thicker drool, dry nose, or sunken eyes. Cats can be a bit harder to read. Proper hydration means your cat’s skin should be soft and supple. Check for “skin tenting”, where if you gently pull on your cat’s skin and coat and it holds shape longer than a second or two, they may require more moisture. Cats are also more difficult, because they aren’t naturally animals that seek out water. Being obligate carnivores, cats get a majority of their moisture from the meat in their diet. Adding more moisture in both dog’s and cat’s diets are a fantastic way to get more hydration for your pet in the Summer months. As a bonus, cats tend to drink more water when they are more hydrated. Here are some great ways to add moisture to your dog’s or cat’s standard kibble bowl:
- Wet food – cans or pouches are a great way to add more wet foods to their diet. Fresh meats are naturally rich in moisture and many cans or pouches come in a gravy. Your pets will absolutely love rich, meaty food added to their diet as well!
- Raw food – Raw diets are popular not only for their high protein, low carbohydrate foods but also because they are rich in moisture. You can also add freeze-dried raw here when you re-hydrate with a liquid of choice. Stella & Chewy’s, Primal Pet Foods, and Nature’s Variety Instinct have multiple raw options.
- Liquid supplements – Goat milk, bone broth, and pumpkin puree have become popular options to add to your pet’s bowl. These add tons of moisture, as well as boosting digestive or joint health. Primal Pet Foods and Answers offer raw goat milk, Primal and Solid Gold have bone broth options, and Fruitables and Weruva have pumpkin puree available.
More great tips would be to have multiple bowls of water in different locations around the house, and consider a drinking fountain, as cats and dogs are drawn to running water sources. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, cool water around as well. Your pets may be thirstier than usual!